“Let marriage be held in honor among all.” Hebrews 13:4
“What is marriage?” is a questions many people don’t take the time to ask themselves or their partner. It seems so simple a child could define it. But marriage is a deep sacrament, given to us by God.
It is so important, Christ honored it by performing his first miracle at a wedding, turning water into wine.
Honoring Marriage Day is on May 7, 2016, and a special mass will be held at 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral honoring couples celebrating their fifth, 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th and beyond anniversaries. A cake and punch reception will follow in the lower level of the Cathedral.
In recognition of Honoring Marriage Day and this important question of “what is marriage?”, let’s go over four ways to honor and support this sacrament.
1. Pray For It
Praying is important throughout your life, but people often don’t think about praying for their current or soon-to-be spouse. Some may consider praying and asking God for a spouse, but truly you should be praying for your spouse to be holy and loving when you are finally brought together.
Praying for this sacrament in general, that it be honored by all in the way God intended, is also important.
2. Wait For It
Waiting for marriage implies two separate concepts: waiting before engaging in sexual intimacy, and waiting for the right time to marry without delaying beyond the time God intends. God forbids sexual intimacy before marriage. We are not permitted to engage in any sexual contact before saying our vows, and in this way we keep our sexual lives pure, honoring this special relationship by procreating within it’s bounds.
Marrying before you are ready, or delaying marrying your partner frivolously also dishonors this sacrament. One must be mature enough to make the choice to marry while also following local laws. You must also not delay married life, choosing to either live together outside of the sacrament’s bounds or delaying when you are already ready.
3. Center It On Christ
Family life is centered on marriage, and marriage is centered on Christ. Both your wedding and married life should be thought of in context of their relationship to Christ, and you should always reevaluate whether what you are doing is right and correct.
Weddings which have virtually no reference to God, Christ, the Holy Spirit or the Gospel are not very Christ centered. The same can be said for marriages which do not emphasize God-given children (either natural or adopted), regular prayer, and balance between family and work.
4. Defend And Promote It
Defend this sacrament against those who attempt to re-define it, as well as those who demean it. It is a union between God, woman and man, to care for children and raise them in Christ’s love.
Promote it to others by your strong example: attend church and community functions as a family; pray for each other, your family and community; care for your neighbors and friends as you would Christ, no matter their religion, views or lifestyle; and when someone is considering marriage, ask them to really consider “what is marriage?” and how they can best honor it.